As I shared in the last post, self-awareness is critical for success in life, work, and relationships, and there are plenty of great tools out there. If you commit to learn from just one tool, you will be farther along today than you were yesterday, and tomorrow you will be farther along than you were today. So, what tools do I use when I work with people?
You find two kinds of people in life and work—those who pursue self-awareness and those who do not. Those who do not can become those who do, but it usually takes an act of disruption—even violence—to upset the status quo of self. I think we’re better off knowing ourselves than not.
Most of us don’t enjoy giving feedback to people. That’s because there are three challenges to overcome. First, you may not have developed basic feedback skills. Second, you see the world a certain way. Third, the other person sees the world their way. That’s three big challenges that can create a mess. But you can overcome these challenges through a simple and clean feedback formula that makes use of your strengths.
Recently I published a blog post about the intersection of the Enneagram and strengths. I was wondering how the CliftonStrengths assessment, which identifies natural areas of talent, might relate to the Enneagram tool, which explains nine personality types. After a couple of weeks of reflection and feedback, I’m rethinking some points I made in the blog post.
Note: Read my response to this blog post after thinking more about this topic.
Sometimes connections between ideas come when you’re not expecting them, even in front of a room of people. Recently I was leading an introductory strengths workshop for a team. While explaining the concept of talent, I shared Gallup's definition of talent:
When I was flying home from the Detroit airport a few weeks ago, I didn’t expect to create a hero dad moment for my teenage daughter, but that’s what happened. I have the Enneagram to thank…and Jerry from Parks and Recreation. Let me explain.
Sometimes you find remarkable insight in places you didn’t expect. With a teenager in the family and two on deck, I’m reading a book called, Screens and Teens by Dr. Kathy Koch. As you can guess, the book is about technology and teenagers. It's full of great ideas, but I didn’t expect it to be so relevant to adult life and work.
Sometimes I get asked what happens in a strengths coaching session (or a strengths debrief as it’s also called). The short answer is it depends on what the client wants to get out of it. I don’t approach a session with my own agenda; as a coach, I want to follow the client’s agenda.
But if a client has never been to a coaching session, they may not know the possibilities. That’s when I like to offer options so the client can choose what will be most valuable. The subject is strengths, but there are so many topics we could cover.
My daughter is nearing the age of 16, which reminded me of my driving test when I was 16. I failed it twice. One reason I failed it the first time—and I say “one reason” because I’m sure there were other reasons—was because I didn’t use the turn signal enough.
Last week, I said that employee engagement is the responsibility of the organization, managers, and employees. Employees ought to know what personally drives them to feel engaged, what factors cause them to give their discretionary best. If something is amiss at work, they can explore what’s missing. The same goes for talents and strengths.